Posted in FRANCISCAN, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 21 July – The Memorial of St Lawrence of Brindisi OFM Cap (1559-1619) Doctor of the Church

Thought for the Day – 21 July – The Memorial of St Lawrence of Brindisi OFM Cap (1559-1619) Doctor of the Church

St Lawrence’s compassion for the poor moved him to make a dangerous trip to Spain to oppose an oppressive tyrant.   He realised that evil has to be opposed and that if good men do not oppose it, the evil will continue and grow.

Our voices – small as they may be – individual or collective – MUST be heard, always, in the cause of truth and justice.

St Lawrence of Brindisi, pray for us!st lawrence of brindisi - pray for us - 21 july 2018


One Minute Reflection – 21 July – – The Memorial of St Lawrence of Brindisi OFM Cap (1559-1619) Doctor of the Church

One Minute Reflection – 21 July – Saturday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time – The Memorial of St Lawrence of Brindisi OFM Cap (1559-1619) Doctor of the Church – Today’s Readings:  Micah 2:1-5Psalm 10:1-47-814Matthew 12:14-21

“Behold, my servant whom I have chosen,
my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased….
and in his name will the Gentiles hope.”…Matthew 12:18,21

REFLECTION – “My dear souls, let us recognise, I pray you, Christ’s infinite charity towards us, in the institution of this Sacrament of the Eucharist.   In order that our love be a spiritual love, He wills a new heart, a new love, a new spirit for us.   It is not with a carnal heart but with a spiritual one, that Christ has loved us with a gratuitous love, a supreme and most ardent love, by way of pure grace and charity.   Ah!   One needs to love Him back with one’s whole, whole, whole, living, living, living and true, true, true heart!!” …… St Lawrence of Brindisi (1559-1619) Apostolic Doctorbehold my servant - matthew 12 - 18, my dear souls, let us recognise - st lawrence of brindisi - 21 july 2018

PRAYER – Lord God, You bestowed on St Lawrence of Brindisi the spirit of counsel and fortitude, so that Your name might be glorified and souls be saved.   At the intercession of St Lawrence, grant that we may see what we have to do and, in Your mercy give us the strength to do it and the courage, love and charity to persevere.   Grant above all, that by his prayers we may love You above all and with all we are.   St Lawrence pray for us, - 21 July 2017

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FRANCISCAN, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS to the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Our Morning Offering – 21 July

Our Morning Offering – 21 July – The Memorial of St Lawrence of Brindisi OFM Cap (1559-1619) Doctor of the Church – Today’s Readings:  Micah 2:1-5Psalm 10:1-47-814Matthew 12:14-21

“Woe to those who devise wickedness and work evil upon their beds!”…Micah 2:1

The Peace Prayer

By St Francis of Assisi (c 1181-1226)

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace, 
where there is hatred, let me sow love,
where there is injury, pardon,
where there is doubt, faith, 
where there is despair, hope,
where there is darkness, light 
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, 
grant that I may not so much 
seek to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that we receive, 
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

St Francis of Assisi (1181/82-1226)

peace prayer - st francis - 16 feb 2018 - a prayer a day for lent


Saint of the Day – 21 July – St Lawrence of Brindisi OFM Cap (1559-1619) Doctor of the Church –  The “Franciscan Renaissance Man”

Saint of the Day – 21 July – St Lawrence of Brindisi OFM Cap (1559-1619) Doctor of the Church.   He was created a Doctor of the Church by St Pope John XXIII in 1959 with the title Doctor apostolicus (Apostolic Doctor).   Patronages –  Brindisi, Italy.

St Lawrence is known as the “Franciscan Renaissance Man”  – he was a Religious member of the Franciscan Friars Minor Capuchin, a Priest, Theologian, Vicar General of the Franciscans, Language scholar, Apologist of immense and calm resources, Humanist, Philosopher, Biblicist, Preacher, Missionary, Professor, International Administrator, Confidant of Popes, Emperors, Kings and Princes, Diplomatic envoy, Army Chaplain, Military Strategist and Morale builder, Polemicist, Prolific writer.

Saint Lawrence of Brindisi

By Pope Benedict XVI
General Audience, 23 March 2011

I still remember with joy the festive welcome I was given in Brindisi in 2008.   It was in this city that in 1559 was born a distinguished Doctor of the Church, St Lawrence of Brindisi, the name that Julius Caesar Russo took upon entering the Capuchin Order.

He had been attracted since childhood by the family of St Francis of Assisi.   In fact, his father died when he was seven years old and his mother entrusted him to the care of the Friars Minor Conventual in his hometown.   A few years later, however, Lawrence and his mother moved to Venice and it was precisely there that he became acquainted with the Capuchins who in that period were generously dedicated to serving the whole Church in order to further the important spiritual reform promoted by the Council of Trent.

With his religious profession in 1575, Lawrence became a Capuchin friar and in 1582 he was ordained a priest.   During his ecclesiastical studies for the priesthood he already showed the eminent intellectual qualities with which he had been endowed.   He learned with ease the ancient languages, such as Greek, Hebrew and Syriac, as well as modern languages, such as French and German.   He added these to his knowledge of Italian and of Latin that was once spoken fluently by all clerics and by all cultured people.   Thanks to his mastery of so many languages, Lawrence was able to carry out a busy apostolate among the different categories of people.   As an effective preacher, his knowledge, not only of the Bible but also of the rabbinic literature, was so profound that even the Rabbis, impressed and full of admiration, treated him with esteem and respect.

As a theologian steeped in Sacred Scripture and in the Fathers of the Church, he was also able to illustrate Catholic doctrine in an exemplary manner to Christians who, especially in Germany, had adhered to the Reformation.   With his calm, clear exposition he demonstrated the biblical and patristic foundation of all the articles of faith disputed by Martin Luther.   These included the primacy of St Peter and of his Successors, the divine origin of the Episcopate, justification as an inner transformation of man, and the need to do good works for salvation.   Lawrence’s success helps us to realise that today too, in pursuing ecumenical dialogue with such great hope, the reference to Sacred Scripture, interpreted in accordance with the Tradition of the Church, is an indispensable element of fundamental importance. I wished to recall this in my Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini (n. 46).   Even the simplest members of the faithful, those not endowed with great culture, benefited from the convincing words of Lawrence, who addressed humble people to remind them all to make their lives consistent with the faith they lawrence of brindisi

This was a great merit of the Capuchins and of other religious Orders which, in the 16th and 17th centuries, contributed to the renewal of Christian life, penetrating the depths of society with their witness of life and their teaching.   Today too, the new evangelisation stands in need of well-trained apostles, zealous and courageous, so that the light and beauty of the Gospel, may prevail over the cultural tendencies of ethical relativism and religious indifference and transform the various ways of thinking and acting into genuine Christian humanism.

It is surprising that St Lawrence of Brindisi was able to continue without interruption his work as an appreciated and unflagging preacher in many cities of Italy and in different countries, in spite of holding other burdensome offices of great responsibility.   Indeed, within the Order of Capuchins he was professor of theology, novice master, for several mandates minister provincial and definitor general and finally, from 1602 to 1605, minister general.   In the midst of this mountain of work, Lawrence cultivated an exceptionally fervent spiritual life.   He devoted much time to prayer and, especially, to the celebration of Holy Mass — often protracted for hours — caught up in and moved by the memorial of the Passion, death and Resurrection of the Lord.St Lawrence of Brindisi (1)

At the school of the saints, every priest, as was emphasised frequently during the recent Year for Priests, may only avoid the danger of activism — acting, that is, without remembering the profound motives of his ministry — if he attends to his own inner life.

In speaking to priests and seminarians in the Cathedral of Brindisi, St Lawrence’s birthplace, I recalled that “the time he spends in prayer is the most important time in a priest’s life, in which divine grace acts with greater effectiveness, making his ministry fruitful. The first service to render to the community is prayer.   And, therefore, time for prayer must be given true priority in our life… if we are not interiorly in communion with God, we cannot even give anything to others.   Therefore, God is the first priority.   We must always reserve the time necessary to be in communion of prayer with Our Lord” (Address of Benedict XVI to priests, deacons and seminarians of the Archdiocese of Brindisi, Cathedral of Brindisi, 15 June 2008).

Moreover, with the unmistakable ardour of his style, Lawrence urged everyone and not only priests, to cultivate a life of prayer, for it is through prayer that we speak to God and that God speaks to us:  “Oh, if we were to consider this reality!”, he exclaimed. “In other words that God is truly present to us when we speak to him in prayer;  that he truly listens to our prayers, even if we pray only with our hearts and minds. And that not only is he present and hears us, indeed he willingly and with the greatest of pleasure wishes to grant our requests”.

Another trait that characterises the opus of this son of St Frances, is his action for peace. Time and again both Supreme Pontiffs and Catholic Princes entrusted him with important diplomatic missions, to settle controversies and to encourage harmony among the European States, threatened in those days by the Ottoman Empire.   The moral authority he enjoyed made him a counsellor both sought after and listened to.   Today, as in the times of St Lawrence, the world is in great need of peace, it needs peaceful and peacemaking men and women.  All who believe in God must always be sources and artisans of


It was precisely on the occasion of one of these diplomatic missions that Lawrence’s earthly life ended, in 1619 in Lisbon, where he had gone to see King Philip III of Spain, to plead the cause of the Neapolitan subjects oppressed by the local authorities.

He was Canonised in 1881 and his vigorous and intense activity, his vast and harmonious knowledge, earned him the title of Doctor Apostolicus, “Apostolic Doctor”.   The title was conferred on him by St Pope John XXIII in 1959, on the occasion of the fourth centenary of his birth.   This recognition was also granted to Lawrence of Brindisi because he was the author of numerous works of biblical exegesis, theology and sermons.   In them he offers an organic presentation of the history of salvation, centred on the mystery of the Incarnation, the greatest expression of divine love for humankind.lawrence - my edit and enlargement

Furthermore, since he was a highly qualified Mariologist, the author of a collection of sermons on Our Lady entitled “Mariale”, he highlighted the unique role of the Virgin Mary, whose Immaculate Conception and whose role in the redemption brought about by Christ he clearly affirms.

With a fine theological sensitivity, Lawrence of Brindisi also pointed out the Holy Spirit’s action in the believer’s life.   He reminds us that the Third Person of the Most Holy Trinity illumines and assists us with his gifts in our commitment to live joyously the Gospel message.

“The Holy Spirit”, St Lawrence wrote, “sweetens the yoke of the divine law and lightens its weight, so that we may observe God’s commandments with the greatest of ease and even with pleasure”.

I would like to complete this brief presentation of the life and doctrine of St Lawrence of Brindisi by underlining that the whole of his activity was inspired by great love for Sacred Scripture, which he knew thoroughly and by heart and by the conviction that listening to and the reception of the word of God produces an inner transformation that leads us to holiness.

“The word of the Lord”, he said, “is a light for the mind and a fire for the will, so that man may know and love God. For the inner man, who lives through the living grace of God’s Spirit, it is bread and water but bread sweeter than honey and water better than wine or milk…. It is a weapon against a heart stubbornly entrenched in vice.   It is a sword against the flesh, the world and the devil, to destroy every sin”.

St Lawrence of Brindisi teaches us to love Sacred Scripture, to increase in familiarity with it, to cultivate daily relations of friendship with the Lord in prayer, so that our every action, our every activity, may have its beginning and its fulfilment in him.   This is the source from which to draw so that our Christian witness may be luminous and able to lead the people of our time to God… Pope Benedict 

A lot more about St Lawrence here:

Posted in FRANCISCAN, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 19 July – Blessed Józef Achilles Puchala OFM Conv (1911-1943) Martyr

Saint of the Day – 19 July – Blessed Józef Achilles Puchala OFM Conv (1911-1943) Martyr – Priest and Franciscan Friar.   Also known as – Achilles Puchala, Brother Achilles, Father Achilles.   Born on 18 March 1911 in Kosina, Podkarpackie, Poland and died on 19 July 1943 in a barn outside Borovikovshchina, Minskaya voblasts’, (now) in Belarus.   Additional Memorial on 12 June as one of the 108 Martyrs of World War jozef puchala

Blessed Jozef was born on 18 March 1911 and baptised on the day of his birth, which is the way Catholics lived and should still live!

He entered the minor seminary in Lviv (in modern Ukraine) in 1924 and once ordained a Deacon, he entered the Monastery of the Franciscan as a Friar Minor Conventual, taking the name Achilles and making his solemn vows on 22 May 1932.

He was ordained as a Priest on 5 July 1936.   Before the total devastation of Poland by the Nazis, he served in the Franciscan convents in Grodno and Iwieniec in Poland.

In early 1940 he moved into parish service in Pierszaje, Poland to help with a shortage of priests who had been arrested, murdered or fled ahead of arrest, by the Gestapo during the Nazi occupation and persecutions of World War II.

Finally, Blessed Jozef too was arrested, tortured and eventually murdered by the Gestapo on 19 July 1943.   The barn in which he was martyred was set alight but his remains were later retrieved by local Catholics.   They were buried in the Parish Church, in which Blessed Jozef had served in in Pierszaje, Poland.

Blessed Jozef was Beatified on 13 June 1999 by St Pope John Paul along with the other 107 (known) Martyrs of World War II.   Their liturgical feast day is 12 June.   The 108 were Beatified by St Pope John Paul II in Warsaw, Poland.   The group comprises 3 bishops, 52 priests, 26 members of male religious, 3 seminarians, 8 female religious and 9 lay people. There are two parishes named for the 108 Martyrs of World War II in Powiercie in Koło County and in Malbork, jozef puchala martyr - 19 july 2018


Thought for the Day – 15 July

Thought for the Day – 15 July – Fifteenth Sunday of the Year – the Memorial of St Bonaventure (1221-1274) – Seraphic Doctor

Perhaps not a household name for most people, Saint Bonaventure, nevertheless, played an important role in both the medieval Church and the history of the Franciscan Order. A senior faculty member at the University of Paris, Saint Bonaventure certainly captured the hearts of his students through his academic skills and insights.   But more importantly, he captured their hearts through his Franciscan love for Jesus and the Church.   Like his model, Saint Francis, Jesus was the centre of everything—his teaching, his administration, his writing, and his life  . So much so, that he was given the title “Seraphic Doctor.”

Bonaventure so united holiness and theological knowledge that he rose to the heights of mysticism while remaining a very active preacher and teacher, one beloved by all who met him.   To know him was to love him;  to read him is still for us today to meet a true Franciscan and a gentleman.

In his bull of Canonisation, Pope Sixtus IV wrote:

Bonaventure was great in learning but no less great in humility and holiness.   His innocence and dove-like simplicity were such that Alexander of Hales, the renowned doctor whose disciple Saint Bonaventure became, used to say of him that it seemed as though Adam had never sinned in him.

A man of eminent learning and eloquence and of outstanding holiness, he was known for his kindness, approachableness, gentleness and compassion.Pope Gregory X on hearing of the death of Bonaventure.

Let us learn from the great Saint himself, to grow in the fruits he possessed in such abundance – humility, kindness, gentleness, charity, chastity, generosity, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, modesty and self-control. (Matthew 7: 15-20)

“We must beg the Holy Spirit,
with ardent longing, to give us these fruits.
The Holy Spirit alone,
knows how to bring to light,
the sweetness hidden away
under the rugged exterior of the words of the Law.
We must go to the Holy Spirit for interior guidance.”

St Bonaventure from Holiness of Lifewe must beg the holy spirit - st bonaventure - 15 july 2018

St Bonaventure, Pray for us!st-bonaventure-pray-for-us-15 jukly 2017 - 2.jpg

Prayer To Obtain the
Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
By St Bonaventure (1221-1274) – Seraphic Doctor

We, therefore, pray
to the most kind Father
through You, His only-begotten Son,
who for us became man,
was crucified and glorified,
that He send us
out of His treasures
the Spirit of sevenfold grace
who rested upon You in all fullness:
the Spirit, I say, of WISDOM,
that we may taste the life-giving flavours
of the fruit of the tree of life,
which You truly are;
the gift also of UNDERSTANDING,
by which the intentions
of our mind are illumined;
the gift of COUNSEL,
by which we may follow in Your footsteps
on the right paths;
the gift of FORTITUDE,
by which we may be able to
weaken the violence
of our enemies’ attacks;
the gift of KNOWLEDGE,
by which we may be filled
with the brilliant light
of Your sacred teaching
to distinguish good and evil;
the gift of PIETY,
by which we may acquire
a merciful heart;
the gift of FEAR,
by which we may draw away
from all evil
and be set at peace
by submitting in awe to
Your eternal majesty.
for You have wished
that we ask for these things
in that sacred prayer which
You have taught us;
and now we ask to obtain them,
through Your cross,
for the praise of Your most Holy Name.
to You,
with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
be honour and glory,
thanksgiving, beauty and power,
forever and ever.

-From Prayer “To Obtain the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit” included at the closing The Tree of Life”
― Bonaventure, Bonaventure: The Soul’s Journey into God, the Tree of Life, the Life of St. Francisprayer to obtain the seven gifts of the holy spirit - st bonaventure - 15 july 2018


Quote/s of the Day – 15 July

Quote/s of the Day – 15 July – Fifteenth Sunday of the Year – the Memorial of St Bonaventure (1221-1274) – Seraphic Doctor

“God might have created a more beautiful world;
He might have made heaven more glorious;
but it was impossible for Him to exalt a creature
higher than Mary in making her His Mother.”god-might-have-created-st-bonaventure1-15 july 2018

“When we pray,
the voice of the heart
must be heard,
more than that,
proceeding from
the mouth.”when we pray - st bonaventure - 15 july 2018

“Although you feel tepid,
approach with confidence,
for the greater your infirmity,
the more you stand in need of a physician.”although you feel tepid - st bonaventure - 15 july 2018

“Every creature is a divine word
because it proclaims God.”every creature - st bonaventure - 15 july 2018

“Christ has something in common with all creatures.
With the stone He shares existence,
with the plants He shares life,
with the animals He shares sensation
and with the angels He shares intelligence.
Thus all things are transformed in Christ
since in the fullness of His nature,
He embraces some part of every creature.”

St Bonaventure (1221-1274) Doctor of the Churchchrist has something in common - st bonaventure - 15 july 2018


One Minute Reflection – 15 July – Fifteenth Sunday of the Year – the Memorial of St Bonaventure (1221-1274) – Seraphic Doctor – 2nd Reading Ephesians 1:3-14.

One Minute Reflection – 15 July – Fifteenth Sunday of the Year – the Memorial of St Bonaventure (1221-1274) – Seraphic Doctor – 2nd Reading Ephesians 1:3-14.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him.” … Ephesians 1:3-4.he chose us in him before the foundation - eph 1 4 - 15 july 2018

REFLECTION – “Christ is both the way and the door.   Christ is the staircase and the vehicle, like the “throne of mercy over the Ark of the Covenant” and “the mystery hidden from the ages.”   A man should turn his full attention to this throne of mercy and should gaze at Him hanging on the cross, full of faith, hope and charity, devoted, full of wonder and joy, marked by gratitude and open to praise and jubilation.   Then such a man will make with Christ a “pasch,” that is, a passing-over.   Through the branches of the cross he will pass over the Red Sea, leaving Egypt and entering the desert.   There he will taste the hidden manna and rest with Christ in the sepulcher, as if he were dead to things outside. He will experience, as much as is possible for one who is still living, what was promised to the thief who hung beside Christ: “Today you will be with me in paradise.” – from Journey of the Mind to God by Saint Bonaventurechrist is both the way and the door - st bonaventure - 15 july 2018

PRAYER – God our Father, we are Your children and You have set us aside to come home to You by the light of the way of Your divine Son.   Grant we pray, that we may grow in faith and love daily, by the intercession of Saint Bonaventure and may be a light of love, to all around us.   We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever, july 2017


Our Morning Offering – 15 July – Fifteenth Sunday of the Year – the Memorial of St Bonaventure (1221-1274) – Seraphic Doctor

Our Morning Offering – 15 July – Fifteenth Sunday of the Year – the Memorial of St Bonaventure (1221-1274) – Seraphic Doctor

Excerpt from the Prayer after Holy Communion
By St Bonaventure (1221-1274) Seraphic Doctor

Pierce, O most sweet Lord Jesus,
my inmost soul with the most joyous
and healthful wound of Your love
and with true, calm
and most holy apostolic charity,
that my soul may ever languish
and melt with entire love
and longing for You,
may yearn for You
and for Your courts,
may long to be dissolved
and to be with You.
Grant that my soul
may hunger after You,
the Bread of Angels,
the refreshment of holy souls,
our daily and supersubstantial bread,
having all sweetness and savour
and every delightful taste.
Amenprayer after holy comm - by st bonaventure - 15 july 2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FRANCISCAN, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 15 July – St Bonaventure O.F.M. (1221-1274) – Doctor of the Church

Saint of the Day – 15 July – St Bonaventure O.F.M. (1221-1274) – Doctor of the Church – known as the “Seraphic Doctor” – Friar, Bishop, Theologian, Philosopher, Writer, Mystic, Preacher, bonaventure - gorgeous header

st bonaventure - blk and whitest bonaventure - coloured = v large

Sanctity and learning raised Bonaventure to the Church’s highest honours and from a child he was the companion of Saints.    Yet at heart he was ever the poor Franciscan friar and practised and taught humility and mortification.

St Bonaventure Enters the Franciscan Order
Francisco de Herrera the Elder 1576 – 1656
St Bonaventure Enters the Franciscan Order

St Francis gave him his name, for, having miraculously cured him of a mortal sickness, he prophetically exclaimed of the child, “O bona ventura!”-good luck.

cure of the infant bonaventure by st francis
Francisco de Herrera the Elder 1576 – 1656
The Cure of Saint Bonaventure as a Child by St Francis

He is known also as the “Seraphic Doctor,” from the fervour of divine love which breathes in his writings.   He was the friend of S. Thomas Aquinas, who asked him one day whence he drew his great learning.   He replied by pointing to his crucifix.   At another time St Thomas found him in ecstasy while writing the life of St Francis and exclaimed, “Let us leave a Saint to write of a Saint.”   They received the Doctor’s cap together.

Berlin, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz
Francisco de Zurbarán 1598 -1664
Saint Bonaventure and St Thomas Aquinas before the Crucifix
1629 (lost in 1945)


He was the guest and adviser of St Louis and the spiritual director of St Isabella, the king’s sister.   At the age of thirty-five in 1257 he was made general of his Order and only escaped another dignity, the Archbishopric of York, by dint of tears and entreaties. Gregory X appointed him Cardinal Bishop of Albano.

When the Saint heard of the Pope’s resolve to create him a Cardinal, he quietly made his escape from Italy.   But Gregory sent him a summons to return to Rome.   On his way, he stopped to rest himself at a convent of his Order near Florence and there two Papal messengers, sent to meet him with the Cardinal’s hat, found him washing the dishes.   The Saint desired them to hang the hat on a bush that was near and take a walk in the garden until he had finished what he was about.   Then taking up the hat with unfeigned sorrow, he joined the messengers and paid them the respect due to their character.Saint_Bonaventure receives the Cardinals hat while washing the dishes

He sat at the Pontiff’s right hand and spoke first at the Council of Lyons.   His piety and eloquence won over the Greeks to Catholic union and then his strength failed.

San Buenaventura en el concilio de Lyon
Francisco de Zurbarán 1598 -1664
Saint Bonaventure at the Council of Lyon (1274) (c.1630)

He died while the Council was sitting and was buried by the assembled bishops, on 15 July 1274.

Francisco de Zurbarán 1598 -1664
The Exposition of the Body of St Bonaventure

For more details on St Bonaventure’s life here:

st cardinal bonaventurest bonaventure - unusual - lg